Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wonderful Wicker & Soggy Slickers

I nabbed this sweet little wicker table 
during my first "vendoring experience" at a local antique market last month.
She rode home next to my "frantle" that now lives in my kitchen,
(which I still can't stop looking at)
and the vintage wicker settee 
which has been stored away in our barn until I can work on it next Spring
(when the sun is shining...
and it's not raining...
and it's warmer...
if you get my drift).

She was on display in one of the pavilions.
People kept walking by her like they didn't know she existed.

Probably because she was whispering MY name.

There was a lace doily on top of her
with some ugly urn or something...
which, come to discover,
was discretely hiding a nasty, puckering, ring of wet wood
on her nasty veneer top.

But her wicker...
ohhh....her wicker...
was beautiful.

Her color....not so much.

But I lugged her to my car,
knowing that she had the potential of becoming
something quite pretty.
(I do not assume responsibility for the number of people
who were knocked down as I wrestled this baby to my car
all by myself...)

Not knowing what I was going to find laying in the depths of that veneer,
I tentatively started peeling the layers off with my fingers.
And peeling.
And peeling some more.
I found my courage and started in with the putty knife,
chipping and chipping.
What did I find?

Oh, good gravy.

Another layer of ugly veneer.


So, with putty knife in hand once more,
I started in again.
(It was almost like peeling sunburned skin.
Know what I mean?
That weird sense of satisfaction you get when you peel that flaky skin away in sheets....
Maybe not.....)

This time, after more chipping and peeling,
a pretty, solid wood top was revealed
just asking for some Annie-love.
I painted the wicker part of the table with ASCP in Paris Grey
and the top got washed in Old White ~
and I let it dry for a couple hours.

THEN the fun started.
(More fun than peeling sunburned skin...)

With my trusty little sander purring away,
I distressed her
all over.

A little here and a little there.

A lot here and a lot there.

A buffing of clear wax later,
and she was once more a beautiful, vintage French lady
who is now gracing the corner of my living room.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

On another note,
Michelle and I spent today at the last local antique market of the year.
It rained.
A lot.
But we grinned and bared it
(despite soggy hair, 
and blisters from new boots
which made me walk like some ghoulish character
from a Halloween movie
or The Humpback of Notre Dame's sidekick).
We had a great time
in our slickers
beneath our umbrellas,
and brought home a car load of treasures.
{Well....maybe not THAT many....}
[ not let that girl, Michelle, fool you.
 As sweet as she is ~
she's as red-neck as they come.
You should'ave seen all the splotches of muck covering her Jeep
from doing U-ies in the muddy field finding the perfect parking spot.
She's a wild one, that girl.]

{Well.....maybe not THIS bad.....}

I'll be floofing the house with my goodies tomorrow,
so you're just going to have to wait til next time
to see what rode home with me...

Have a great week ~
and thank you for all of your sweet comments!
You always know how to bring a smile to my face!

{ Hugs }

Linking this week to the parties located at the lower right of my sidebar.
This is where I get all of my inspiration!
Click on the buttons, grab some great ideas, and meet some new friends!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dancing on White

I've been hiding something from you.

I don't think I ever shared the incredibly ugly "desk" in my kitchen with you.


Probably for good reason.

Take a look at it....
but don't linger too long.

It's reeeeally ugly.

Lovely boring, beige, swirly patterned, 1980's laminate.

Yeah, I know.  I know.
That television is now considered an antique, I'm sure....
We want to buy one of those under-the-shelf type ~
 It's just not top priority right now, unfortunately. 

See that ugly, bumpy tile on the wall?
It's the same thing that's on our counters.
We hate it.
It was tan when we moved here.
I painted it white immediately.
It will be replaced....someday...
with white bead board backsplash
and a soapstone-type counter.

Anyway, in an attempt to "pretty up" that desk space,
I made an under-the-counter skirt from leftover drop cloth fabric.
I didn't even pull out a sewing machine.
I don't have one.

I used that seam binding heat tape stuff to create the rod pocket,
slipped in a tension rod
and ta-da!
Instant French country!

(Just one more way to bring more white into the kitchen
without painting the cabinets.)

I had originally considered painting that laminate top with
Annie Sloan chalk paint.
In fact, I checked with a distributor who said it would work 
if I put three or four coats of poly on top for protection.

But while whitewashing my wicker baskets recently,
I had an "ah-ha" moment.

After some scrounging around in our barn for a while,
sorting through all the scrap, trim, and barn wood, 
I hauled out a 2"x28' board.

(Should have seen me maneuver THAT monster down the loft stairs...
Pulled a muscle in my shoulder doing it....
but by George...
I did it myself!)

It had a lovely, weathered gray patina.

I hoisted it over my shoulder, made like a lumberjack, 
and walked into hubby's tool room in the garage.

He looked up from what he was doing,
and I was met with the usual 


and the ever infamous


After I explained the vision bouncing around in my head,
he actually agreed 
it would be a great idea
 went to work on my vision immediately!

Will wonders never cease....???

Out came the measuring tape, pencil, square, and saw.

Hubby: "Do NOT do that happy dance right now!
    I'm trying to cut this straight!!!"

Me: (bouncing up and down) "Okay!  Okaaaayyy!!! 
But this is going to look soooo gooooood!"

Hubby:  "Stop your dancing!!!!"

Me:  "Not even a liiiiitle.....??"

Hubby:  (now bellowing) "NO!"

Me:  (mumbling)....."Party pooper....."

When he threw me the hairy eyeball
I knew I needed to stand still.

We cut and we he wood glued.

We used some cool vintage wooden clamps to hold the boards together while they dried overnight.

See that jaw dropping gray patina...?

The following day
I hauled that beautiful but h-e-a-v-y future desk top to the backyard
for a wash.

A whitewash.

I used the same technique that I did on my wicker baskets.

Watered down a little Annie Sloan "Old White" chalk paint,
and had a bucket of water and a clean brush ready.

I worked in sections.
Paint - then water,
letting the milky white watered down paint run down the boards, 
catching in the crevices and knot holes.

I gave it two coats of whitewash.


After a couple hours drying time, I used my little palm sander to distress it.

I lugged it inside to the kitchen
(another monumental task)
and laid in on top of the bottom cabinets.
I painted on light coat of AS clear wax,
let it dry for a couple hours,
then buffed and buffed and buffed.


I couldn't wait to show hubby.

When he walked in the door that evening,
I could have sworn that I saw a weeee bit of happy dance touch his toes
as he said,

"Ya know.....THAT was the best idea you've come up with yet!"

We both stood there smiling stupidly

and petted the table for a while ~

oohhing and aahhing.

We loved it.

It was a good thing.

Hubby:  "You can happy dance on your table now....."

Me:  "I am....."

{ Hugs }

PS  Please keep sweet Anne in your prayers.
Her momma passed away this week.
She is hurting..

Linking this week to the parties on the lower right of my sidebar.
Just click on the buttons and join the fun!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Make Yours Vintage

Hey, chickies!

Do you have any baskets laying around that you don't know what to do with?

Baskets that are ugly and boring?

Baskets that are that typical yucky wicker color
or just plain ho-hum?

Photo: Ozma of Odds

Want to make them look like vintage French baskets?

Well, I was over-the-moon thrilled when I came across Rosemary's
French market basket tutorial recently.
She took a basket she found at JoAnn Fabrics and made it look 100 years old.
It was breathtaking when she got done with it.
That girl never ceases to amaze me.

Photo:  Ozma of Odds

Quite a transformation, huh?

Now, pick your chin up off the floor.

I hunted high and low for that same wonderful French market basket.
What I discovered was that it was not available in every JoAnn's store.
With Rosemary's help, I ordered one from the store in Flint, MI.
Until it arrived, I wanted to practice her technique on some baskets I had sitting in my basement.

So, after a quick run to Hobby Lobby for paint,

(quick, considering I spent two hours there instead of four...)

I set my supplies up outside 

(which is where you'll want to do this -
because if you're anything like me
you'll end up looking like you've been hit by a squirrel with a paint gun...

or a bad case of anemic measles.

I probably just should'ave worn a raincoat...)

Hmmmm....maybe that's why Rosemary used foam brushes?)

Rosemary applied more of a tan base to her baskets.
I wanted to try a darker base.

In one container, I mixed a little Traditional Burnt Umber with Black until it was a dark, coffee bean color.

Add a little white to lighten up the color, or black to deepen it.

(Pretend you're a real artist.
I did.)

Then, I painted my basket.

None to neatly, mind you.

Just kind of slopped and swished.
leaving some of the original basket color show through here and there.

And waited patiently for it to dry completely.

I mixed some Wicker White with a little bit of water in second container.

(I'm learning to save used margarine containers for this.)

In my third container, I had just plain water with a clean brush.

When the basket was dry,
I painted some of the watered down white paint on one side.

Putting that brush down and picking up the one in water,
I swished that across the basket where I just painted,
letting the now-white water run down the wicker
giving it a white-washed look.

It caught in the little crevices
creating a swoon-worthy patina.

"Painting" on the water over the white paint.

I continued on to the next side of the basket applying the same
white-washing technique,
alternating the white paint mix with the water
to get the patina I was looking for.

See how it catches in the crevices?  Instant vintage....

When the entire basket was completed,
it was pretty wet.
So, I set it in the sun to dry.

Four different baskets received a little vintage love that afternoon.

Cute lambs, huh?  (Stop laughing....)

Base coat completed (and no more lamb chops).

The finished project.

Each basket I did ended up with a little different patina.
Each of them beautifully vintage French looking.

This true French gathering basket already had a beautiful gray/brown patina.  I just gave it a quick whitewashing.

I used this same technique on a new tabletop recently, too.

But that tutorial is for another time...  :)

A little autumn decor is drifting into Heaven's Walk...

So, grab that ugly basket sitting there on your shelf,
and make it vintage!

And...uh....don't forget your raincoat....

Thank you, Rosemary, for the inspiration 
and your great tutorial!

{ Hugs }

Linking to the parties on the lower right of my sidebar.
See you there!